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HUMAN SECURITY NETWORK

On 9 June 2016, Slovenia assumed the chairmanship of the Human Security Network for a year.  In addition to Slovenia, the Human Security Network consists of 12 countries from all continents: Austria, Chile, Greece, Ireland, Jordan, Costa Rica, Mali, Norway, Panama, Switzerland, Thailand, and the Republic of South Africa as an observer. On 16 June 2017, Slovenia handed over the Chairmanship to Panama.

 

During its chairmanship, Slovenia has striven to reinforce the Network's activities, especially in the framework of the United Nations. The focus was on the following priority areas: (1) human security and current global challenges, (2) protection of individuals, and (3) human security in the context of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. In accordance with these priorities, close attention has been given to two cross-cutting topics, namely the protection of children and gender equality.

 

The most visible activities of the Network are joint statements in support of the human security approach and action within the UN system and other international events. The Chair is responsible for coordinating activities and preparing joint statements. During its chairmanship, Slovenia coordinated eleven joint statements on behalf of the Human Security Network that were presented in New York (USA), Geneva (Switzerland), Cancun (Mexico), Quito (Ecuador) and Santiago (Chile).  

 

During the Slovenian chairmanship, human security was the topic of one of the panels at the 11th Bled Strategic Forum (BSF), which took place on 5-6 September 2016 in Slovenia. This high-level panel was well attended and appreciated by participants at this conference devoted to discussions of current global challenges, which is organised annually by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Slovenia and the Centre for European Perspective in Bled, Slovenia. 

 

Slovenia also hosted a senior officials’ meeting of the HSN on 23 September on the margins of the ministerial week of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, where officials of HSN members discussed the activities of the Network and possibilities for further action. 

 

At its inception the purpose of the Network was to promote the Ottawa Treaty on the landmine ban. Its activities were later expanded to cover current issues on the agenda of the UN and other international forums which constitute a direct threat to human security, namely the protection of children in armed conflict, the role of women in peacekeeping operations, human rights education, small arms and light weapons control, the effects of climate change on vulnerable groups, and the fight against AIDS, human trafficking and poverty. The Network also encourages dialogue between UN members on the added value of the concept of human security to the work of the UN.

 

The concept of human security places people at the centre of all efforts, and was first introduced in the 1994 Human Development Report by the UN Development Programme. It advocates a comprehensive approach to security, which broadly encompasses the protection of people and communities from violence and freedom from want, as well as their right to live in dignity. It is particularly relevant during conflict and post-conflict situations, when civilians are most vulnerable. The 2005 World Summit Outcome document recognised in paragraph 143 that "all individuals, especially vulnerable people, are entitled to freedom from fear and freedom from want, with an equal opportunity to enjoy all their rights and fully develop their human potential". Building on this, in 2012, the UN General Assembly adopted by consensus Resolution 66/290, in which member states agreed on a common understanding of human security. The principles underpinning this concept are widely accepted in the UN, i.e. the interconnections between security, development and human rights, a comprehensive and context-based approach, local ownership of projects, and focus on preventive action. They form the basis of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development adopted at the UN Sustainable Development Summit in New York in September 2015.


Slovenia joined the Human Security Network in 1999, holding its first chairmanship in 2006–2007. During that period, Slovenia focused on strengthening the role of the Network within the UN Human Rights Council, on promoting inter-cultural dialogue through human rights education and on fighting violence against children in armed conflict. In May 2007, Ljubljana hosted a ministerial meeting of the Network. 
 

The Chairmanship of the Network so far:

 

- Norway           1998–1999     

- Switzerland     1999–2000

- Jordan             2000–2001

- Chile               2001–2002

- Austria            2002–2003

- Mali                2003–2004

- Canada           2004–2005

- Thailand          2005–2006

- Slovenia          2006–2007

- Greece            2007–2008

- Ireland            2008–2009  

- Costa Rica       2009–2011

- Switzerland      2011–2012

- Jordan             2012–2013

- Chile               2013--2014

- Austria            2014–2015

- Thailand          2015–2016

- Slovenia          2016–2017

- Panama           2017–2018